27 November 2007

Five years with OpenOffice.org!

I just realised that I joined the OpenOffice.org (OOo) project five years ago. I got my first copy of OOo (1.0.1) in late August 2002 and joined the Documentation list on 4 December of that year, while working on what was to become my first self-published book on the topic (Taming OpenOffice.org). In mid-2003 I met Daniel Carrera online and joined the OOoAuthors project (producing user documentation for OOo), and in September 2003 Daniel recruited me as lead editor for OOoAuthors, where I've been volunteering ever since. Wow! How times flies. It is time for me to move on from OOo to something else. I've become somewhat bored with the routine, even though I'm also very happy with the way things have been going at OOo. Over the past 6 months, the new team at OOo Documentation seem to be embracing the resources at OOoAuthors (people, website and user guides) with enthusiasm, and several grass-roots initiatives (for example the wiki and a new user forum) have really taken off. So I feel I can now leave and things will keep chugging along well without me... though I am disappointed that I never managed to get a Calc Guide finished (I just don't know enough to write all the missing bits myself, like I did with Writer). So I'm telling both OOoAuthors and the OOo Documentation Project that I'll be winding down my activities by the end of 2007. I plan to continue producing the printed copies of OOoAuthors books through Lulu.com in my role as publisher at Friends of OpenDocument Inc. Perhaps I'll have time to expand those publishing activities to include books on other software or even translations of the existing books—of course that depends on someone writing the books or providing the translations.